Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cue the Music for Another Supreme Court Shuffle

Who can forget Justice John Roberts performing the "Supreme Court Shuffle" when, in a last minute change of heart, ruled that the PPACA "fine" was really a "tax" and thereby passed constitutional muster.

Now the stage is set for another dance.

Last week the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the government in its application of tax subsidies for insurance purchased in federal exchanges. The PPACA in Section 36B authorizes the IRS to provide tax credits to those who purchase insurance in the state insurance exchanges. The problem is that many states refused to set up exchanges. Consequently, the federal government set up its own exchanges in those states. The legal question at hand concerned whether the IRS could provide tax credits to purchases of insurance in those federal exchanges.

The Court of Appeals in a 2-1 ruled that the plain language of the PPACA permits tax credits ONLY for insurance purchased in state exchanges. That rulings effectively eliminates tax credits in the 36 states where the federal government set up its own exchanges.

A very brief summary can be read here. The entire ruling is uploaded here.

Reading  the entire PPACA or even a summarizing it will, of course, make your head explode.

The supporters of the PPACA already putting together the dance cards for another "Supreme Court Shuffle."

Recently one of the chief developers of the PPACA, Joanthan Gruber,  claimed that a "typo" accounts for alleged misreading by the Court of Appeals. That is a strange enough claim in itself; lawyers more than anyone else know the significance of every word, letter, and punctuation mark.  More interesting, though, is what he claimed several months ago. The juxtaposition of the "then" and "now" below:

Will John Roberts accept his invitation to dance?

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